At a time when Redskins owner Daniel Snyder may be thinking about the next high-profile coach he’ll overpay to underachieve, Nick Saban would like to remind Snyder and the rest of us that Saban is still coaching.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com tweets that he’s been told by a source that Saban currently is in negotiations with Alabama regarding a contract extension that would pay him in the range of $7 million per year.
Coincidentally (or not), current Redskins coach Mike Shanahan currently earns $7 million per year.
The more likely explanation for this latest development is that word of the potential extension was leaked by Saban or someone close to Saban to a member of the media with close ties to the University of Texas as a message to the Longhorns, who are believed to be interested in hiring Saban. But Brandt also has close ties to the NFL, which makes us wonder whether Snyder is one of the intended recipients of Saban’s message.
Why wouldn’t Snyder be interested in Saban? Sure, he burned out after two years in Miami because a little thing called the salary cap prevented him from over-recruiting the most talented players in the nation and then lining them up and letting them win championships. (Besides, NFL kickers are way better at making 57-yard field goals.) No numbers of crystal footballs will soothe Saban’s lingering torment over the perception that he couldn’t get it done at the highest level of the sport.
The key for Saban would be negotiating a contract that gives him as much power in the NFL as he enjoys in a town he runs called Tuscaloosa, with enough extra money to make up for the fact that he’d to deal with a far more zealous and independent press corps in D.C. So if $7 million per year keeps him in Alabama, what would lure him back to the NFL?
$8 million plus total control of the football operations and a promise from Snyder to stay out of the building?
$10 million plus full control?
Surely, there’s a number and a set of terms that will get Saban’s attention. But first, Saban has to get Snyder’s attention.